Author Topic: The Theme of Berserk  (Read 6334 times)

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Offline IronBerserk

Re: The Theme of Berserk
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2014, 12:22:06 AM »
Awesome arguments Vodnak :guts: I especially liked how you started off the topic by saying that: "I think in order to observe what the true theme/and or moral device behind the story is, you have to first witness the end of it. That's just my opinion." I completely agree with this. It is impossible for us to dissect THE major theme/s of Berserk without seeing the end. But I do think we could make relevant guesses and predictions about not only the major theme/s but the ending as well.

Antonius Block mentioned Sacrifice as a major theme and I definitely like that idea. I've stated in the past that it is my belief that Guts' revenge and rage is THE main theme. Aaz and Walter tend to disagree but it's presence and power is prominent in every arc enough so that one can definitely see it.

When Berserk started it's first arc, the Black Swordsman arc, one must ask why Miura did this? Why start there exactly? My personal opinion for that reason was Miura wanting to display Guts at his worst. When his rage or berserk was at its peak. He wanted to show us what the main theme and focal point of his entire epic was going to be. The Black Swordsman arc set up Guts' rage and revenge, the high fantasy and medieval setting, and the extreme mature themes. It is such a brilliant set up that explains almost everything one can and should expect when starting the series. I always laughed at the morons who kept saying, "Berserk sucks after the Golden Age arc because there is just so much magic, demons, and D&D high fantasy bullshit. Berserk was never about that." Those kinds of people need to shut up and get a clue because Berserk was always going to be about that. They should have realized it the moment they started reading the damn series!......ok I went off topic there :P I can't stand haters. lol! Anyways, back to the main theme argument.

Guts' rage and revenge was the center focus of the Black Swordsman arc, and it has been a prominent major theme in every other arc proceeding it. It is of my opinion and belief that Miura will end his series on a similar note of that of the Black Swordsman arc. I'd like to point out one more point in the Black Swordsman arc that I find very important, and that is the death of the Count. To become an Apostle, a person must sacrifice one of the most important things he has in his life. The Count chose his wife but still has his daughter. Even as an Apostle, his love for his daughter was so big that he chose to die rather than sacrifice her. Now i want you to imagine this scenario but with Griffith. Griffith sacrificed ALL his friends in order to gain his dream, but what will happen once he loses even that? Just like the Count, Griffith will crack (break down), but unlike the Count, he will have nothing left to sacrifice and he will fall.

My prediction for the ending of Berserk: Griffith will lose his kingdom, the only thing he has left that he loves. He sacrificed his friends and the emotions he had for them, all in order to become the greatest ruler he can be and gain his own kingdom. Once he loses that kingdom, he will have nothing left. Guts having finally tamed his revenge and anger will face Griffith, not for revenge's sake, but for the sake of the population. He will defeat Griffith not for himself but for the people he loves. In the end, Guts will be the enlightened calm composed man who is facing an enraged berserker gone Griffith filled with thoughts of revenge. The roles will be reversed.

At least that's how I think it will end. Something along those lines anyways :guts: Miura has said that the ending of Berserk will be a happy one, so Guts triumphing over Griffith seems like the logical conclusion...at least I hope so. This is just how I pictured the perfect ending to Berserk. What do you guys think?

Offline Arvin

Re: The Theme of Berserk
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2014, 08:08:50 PM »
Among the many themes already mentioned, one that I really liked when it was being alluded was the, kind of paraphrasing here, "finding your own place in the world" theme. It's also kinda related to, paraphrasing again, the "giving or finding a meaning to life" theme that usually comes along.
I always found these significant and precious themes in Berserk, given how dark and pessimistic the story could be sometimes. My memory of the early series is pretty foggy now but as far as I can recall it was first alluded in the episode "Sparks" when Guts was meditating about it in his stay at Godot's place (although in Guts case, the theme was probably being developed as far back as Guts leaving Griffith and the Band of the Falcons, or perhaps even earlier).

Another instance was again at Godot's place but later in the series, when Rickert was there as well. There is a particular scene where Guts finds himself impressed with Rickert, all the way he came from which goes as far back as the time of the eclipse to find his place there, become a skilled swordsmith and also find someone he would eventually take care of (Erica). It made me appreciate even more Rickert's character.

But it's also a theme that is often subverted by other strong elements in the story like causality and the plotline that greater forces have for mankind. The world is now literally a mess and other than going to Falconia, much like we are seeing with Rickert and Erica, people seemingly have little choice ever since the advent of Fantasia.

When Guts was also starting to give a more profound meaning to his life he was already dragged by the chain of events that would lead to the eclipse (going back to the BoF, rescuing Griffith and so on). After that his life had become pretty much a quest for revenge and taking care of Casca. Only the latter was part of his plans but not exactly as he thought it would be.

It's a combination of themes that don't have much place now in the current state of affairs, as people are just trying to survive in this crazy new world and cope with the situation. But I always enjoyed when Miura would bring it up.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 05:09:26 AM by Arvin »

Offline IronBerserk

Re: The Theme of Berserk
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2014, 04:24:24 AM »
Actually Arvin, I'm glad you brought it up because "finding a meaning to life" is or has already been partially answered. People always seem to believe that Berserk's Golden Age arc and the betrayal of Griffith was the ending and beginning to something new. That in my opinion is wrong. The "real" new beginning of Berserk is the 18th volume and ending of the 17th volume. Berserk began with the Black Swordsman arc which showed Guts at his worst. The resolution to that story happened in volume 17 when Guts contemplates to himself about what he has been doing during the past 2 years. How and why he left Casca, the most important person in his life. It is THE turning point in the series.

What does this have to do with "finding your own place in the world" theme. Well it has everything to do with it. The golden age arc was a lot about dreams. How one should use and go through with their dreams. Guts was having trouble finding his place among the world because he didn't know what his dream was. He decided he go out into the world and challenge people using the one thing he was good at and knew how to use, his sword. But that idea was challenged when he realized that leaving his friends and "family" made him uncertain. Judeau even told him to bring Casca with him on his journey. That he should follow or find his dream, but with the people he loves. This is a lesson that he was about to learn...until Griffith did exactly the opposite of that and killed his family only to follow his dream. This made Guts forget all of what I just explained. He left Casca and Rickert, his only family left, all for the sake of revenge. However, the end of volume 17 is that enlightenment "waking up" moment. That moment of contemplation in the cave is him remembering that moral life lesson he so forgot about because of Griffith's intervention and betrayal. "Finding your own place in the world" is following your dream alongside those you love (Rickert learned this when he joined Godot and decided to take care of Erica). Sharing your pains, pleasures, and accomplishments with them. Guts at the end of volume 17 learns this, and Griffith forgot about it.

There is a reason why Isidro first shows up at the beginning of volume 18. He and the rest of the later to be Guts' companions are the start of something new, a new family. Guts having learned this new moral on life is now more accepting of people and their help. He is willing to let them join him if they so wish. He realizes that he needs others help in order to take care of Casca, and in accepting their help he learned to trust them and they became his new family. This "new" Guts who accepts and teaches others was born in volume 17. That cave enlightenment moment is in my opinion the single greatest moment in the entire series.

Offline jackson_hurley

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Re: The Theme of Berserk
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2014, 07:08:48 PM »
For a long time, I've considered the "main theme" of berserk being about dreams. So many times we hear about dreams. Either real dream, like an objective, or dream in the real sense ; as in "this feels like a dream".
Do I still think that now? I can't really say. Like it's been said in this thread a couple of times, there is so many theme and sub-theme that we could talk about for a long time, it's difficult to pin-point and determine if there is an actual theme. But yeah in my opinion "dream" is a big focus at some point for a while but I don't think we could say that it's THE main theme.

Offline Vodnak

Re: The Theme of Berserk
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2014, 02:38:26 AM »
For a long time, I've considered the "main theme" of berserk being about dreams. So many times we hear about dreams. Either real dream, like an objective, or dream in the real sense ; as in "this feels like a dream".
Do I still think that now? I can't really say. Like it's been said in this thread a couple of times, there is so many theme and sub-theme that we could talk about for a long time, it's difficult to pin-point and determine if there is an actual theme. But yeah in my opinion "dream" is a big focus at some point for a while but I don't think we could say that it's THE main theme.

It's the cost of continuing to chase that dream. Griffith is the most relevant example of that. The dream enticed him to give his humanity up in return for fulfilling his dream... and it cost the Band of the Hawk their lives. They didn't have a say in it one way or another. Their lives belonged to Griffith as Guts belonged to Griffith when he lost their first duel.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it but after the second duel, when Guts won, the claim Griffith had on his life became null and void, and Guts began to pursue his own path to find his own place in the world. Guts had been contemplating leaving the hawks for a while. I feel like had he not left, and had he continued to serve under Griffith and help him achieve his end, his fate would've been no different perhaps than the rest of the Hawks. But then, if Guts chose not to leave a lot of things would've turned out differently so, it's a moot point I guess.

Offline TerrorA

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Re: The Theme of Berserk
« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2014, 11:14:00 PM »
Let no one, not God, Not Fate, NO ONE, choose your path for you.


Damn me. Damn you all